Kidney Punch

Matariki – Te whetū tapu o te taū

John Pickering May 18, 2022

“Māori star lore was, and still remains, a blending together of both astronomy and astrology, and while there is undoubtedly robust science within the Māori study of the night sky, the spiritual component has always been of equal importance” writes Professor Rangi Matamua in his book Matariki – Te whetū tapu o te taū (Matariki – The star of the year).  I … Read More

Celebrating Women in Space

John Pickering Oct 06, 2021

Beautiful, Inspiring, Mysterious!  How do you describe space?  What do you think when you look up at the stars?  The United Nations General Assembly certainly knew how beautiful, inspiring, mysterious, and important space is when they designated a week to be World Space Week.  That’s this week, and the theme for this year is Women in Space. There are numerous New Zealand women who … Read More

Shorter stays in the ED thanks to COVID-19

John Pickering Mar 29, 2021

Early last year the expected influx of patients with COVID-19 to emergency departments (ED) in New Zealand required rapid preparation.  Many questions needed answering quickly – such as, where will we put all the patients? How will we separate highly likely COVID-19 patients from less likely COVID-19 patients?  How will we allocate staff and keep them safe? One of the two most … Read More

Cheesecake Files: Machine learning heart attacks

John Pickering Aug 21, 2019

“Machine learning” rates very high on the buzz-word scale, right up there with “nano-technology” and “blockchain”. Like most buzz it is more noise than substance. However, every now and again it looks like there might be something in the noise that bites. This episode of the Cheesecake Files1 is about testing an algorithm (another buzz word) developed through a … Read More

Is my science ethical?

John Pickering Apr 12, 2019

Am I doing what the public thinks is OK to do?   That was the question that came to mind as I heard Bioethics and Health Law expert Rochelle Style speak at a Health data workshop held at the University of Otago Christchurch this week.  Rochelle spoke with clarity and demonstrated a great deal of expertise.  I like the simplicity of Law – tells … Read More